page 42

by beginningstoendings

“The only difficult thing is inventing a sensation that isn’t there.  Everything else can remain the same, the basic plot or whatever, it’s just the emotion that you need to infuse into it—that you need to worry about.”  Jamus observes.  The comment is so obvious that I nearly loose all respect for him and his intelligence.

“Hasn’t it always?  I mean, isn’t that what writing is about?  The invention of emotion from noting but inspiration?”  He stirs one of his metal chopsticks in wasabi and soy sauce then, as if completely ignoring my question:

“Once I realized that one had to develop interest out of the ordinary I set about making my ordinary extraordinary.”  The dim look on my face is dimming further, I can feel it in the relaxing botox-ean paralysis of my forehead.  “I wanted to publish what would be the most shocking testament to tragedy.  Ordinary people who are so miserable that…” The waiter comes with more green tea.  I am now so interested in what Jamus has to say that I barely notice the full steaming cup in front of me. 


“Katharine, even the most miserable people I know are able to cope with their own unhappiness for the most part.  They are bitter people, often jaded and lonely, but they’re coping.  They take prescriptions, they drink, they have affairs and whatever else and those are their strategies to ‘deal.’  But there have to be, or more importantly, there are sadder people than these.”

“You just don’t know them?”

“In a sense.  I don’t currently, or never did.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about Jamus.”  He gives me a look that you might give to a dog that just caught its own tail in the chasing of it and bit down hard.

“If you kill yourself Kate, if you hated yourself so much that you’d end your own life, then truly, you’re the saddest person I know…knew.”